Sunday, April 16, 2006

baby cows and apple orchards and prairie dogs

Admittedly, the secular aspects of Easter are entirely pleasurable. Bunnies, chiks, pink and lilac eggs, willow buds, tulips, chocolate – am I leaving something out?

Still, when your own chickies fly the coop and move to distant places, you’re not going to get all bunny and basket about life, are you? Effectively, secular Easter becomes just another day.

And yet, when I got on my computer this morning and downloaded photos from yesterday’s bike ride, they did strike me as terribly, well, Easterish.

It was a glorious ride. For one thing, I survived it. I’d been warned: Nina, it’s at least twelve miles of hills and vales from Fitchburg to Paoli. Nina, you hate hills. Mr. B hates hills.

All true and yet the idea appealed to me. Bike over to a small little town, get a cup of coffee and a pastry, an ice cream maybe, bike back. The day was perfect for it.

Twenty eight miles later I was back, with photos of spring and a Starbucks latte under my belt. Not exactly from Paoli. The only refreshment you could get in Paoli that did not have either heaps of sugar or alcohol in it was this:

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Paoli pump

So on a detour back, we gave in to the only café within a twenty mile radius that keeps decent hours: opens at 5:30 in the morning, closes at 10 night, every day of the year. Sigh. Another Starbucks success story.

But forget the Fitchburg latte for a minute and look through the lens of a ride to Paoli. Over hills and vales, past peering eyes of local inhabitants. I’m told I’m a duffer: a casual cyclist, relying on three speeds, singing to myself, dangling a camera. Yeah, and proud of it.

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prairie dog, making sense of the duffer

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a highlander watching me, sort of

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baby highlander

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highlander scratching his back

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birches: last week's gray is today's green

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getting the apple trees in shape

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...and the soil ready for spring planting

Happy Easter, if this is your day to revel in the potent moods and flavors of spring